Password Best Practices

Many people agree that passwords are a major pain. Many people also agree that passwords are a necessary part of day-to-day business and life. After all, passwords are the first line of defense when protecting our information both at home and at work.

It’s manageable if you only have one or two passwords to recall but as technology now touches most aspects of our life, many of us need to keep track of login information for several accounts. We walk a fine line of making sure our passwords are difficult enough so that they can’t be hacked, yet easy enough so that they don’t have to be written down on a sticky note at our desk.

Password Security Tips

If at all possible, it is highly recommend that passwords include a minimum of eight characters with a mix of special characters, numbers, capital letters, and lower-case letters for all accounts (at work and at home).  Small things like replacing an “a” with a “@” symbol or a “5” for an “s” can make a huge difference when someone is trying to hack into your account.

Another thing you can try is a passphrase – multiple words strung together to form a single word.  For example: “My10th*Anniversary.”  Longer and stranger combinations are better, but keep in mind that some systems may have a limit as to how many characters can be used.

Best practice says that you should have a unique password for each account you log into. Also, never write down password information in a place that can be seen by anyone (even your wallet or purse), and never share passwords with others.

Here is a list of some of the most hacked and easily guessed passwords in the world. If you have a password that is the same or similar to one of these, you definitely want to consider changing it as soon as possible:

  • Password
  • 123456
  • 12345678
  • Qwerty
  • Abc123
  • Monkey
  • 1234567
  • Letmein
  • Trustno1
  • Dragon

Oh, also, try to not use “packers#1,” even during football season.

Do you have too many passwords to remember. Don’t use a “hiding spot” to write them all down. Try this password storage solution.

-Paul Rosenquist

Author

Paul has worked as an Information Security Engineer at Society Insurance since 2009. He has been in the technology and information security industry for 15 years, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

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